Monday, 20 October 2014

Pre-order giveaway: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.
Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter. TO ENTER:
  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to forbiddengiveaway@gmail.com.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.
PRIZES:
(1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER: 1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt) 2. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson 3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White 4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt 5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf 6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured) 7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings 8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances) 9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured) 10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards 11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)
(1) SECOND PLACE WINNER:
1. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)
(13) RUNNERS-UP WINNERS:
1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.
Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.
With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.
Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.
Follow Kimberley:
About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com.
Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Stacking the Shevles (#22)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga over at Tynga Reviews. This haul covers books I purchased/requested in September and early October.

Purchased:

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
A solid sequel, in my opinion.


Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh
This was a little slow to being with, but it soon picked up and I ended up enjoying it.


For review:

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon 
Kind of went crazy when this came in the post, I feel sorry for the postman. xD

Edelweiss:

Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock
I'm excited to see how this trilogy ends!


Have you read/do you plan to read any of these books? :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

GoodReads: Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women.

- Add to GoodReads
Source: Publisher
Expected publication date: 14/10/14

Thoughts:

"Now, that's womanhood perfected, Percy my boy. That's the type of girl you want. Silent. Alluring. Submissive."

Am I surprised that I loved this book? Nope. I fell head over heels in love with Winters' debut, In the Shadow of Blackbirds and was expecting The Cure for Dreaming to be every bit as amazing. 

The Cure for Dreaming is set in the beginning of the 20th Century, in a time where upon leaving school women were expected to marry and be domestic house wives. However, this did not stop them from dreaming. Olivia, the headstrong mc is among these dreamers, she has, as her dad refers to them "unfeminine" dreams about college and the women's suffrage. This is where Henri, a turn of the century hypnotist comes into the story. Wanting to rid his daughter of her unfeminine dreams Olivia's dad hires Henri to cure her. And what follows from there? Well, you'll just have to read the book for yourself to find out. I will say this, however: Olivia's journey had me feeling a blaze of different emotions, and although Olivia's dads actions angered me I have to admit that by the end of the book I kind of felt sorry for him. In his own way, I think he genuinely thought what he was doing was best for Olivia.

I easily related to Olivia. Ever felt awkward around cute guys? *nods* Read your favourite book (in Olivia's case, Dracula) way too many times to count? *nods again* Yep, I definitely see a piece of myself in Olivia. Moving onto the the romance: I thought it was lovely, but what I loved most about it was that the mc wasn't defined by it. 

If there was was only one word I could use to describe this book it would atmospheric. Centered around an important movement: the women's suffrage, The Cure for Dreaming is littered with photos which really add to the tone of the story. I enjoyed the way in which Winters portrayed this piece of history, she presented a society in which there was a growing fight for the right to vote, and where women were no longer content being silent and obedient house wives.

The ending was bittersweet, it made me feel both sad and hopeful. All in all, The Cure for Dreaming was a deliciously compelling read full of atmosphere and allure.

Rating:

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

GoodReads: After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.
Source: Edelweiss
Expected publication date: 16/09/14

Thoughts:
  
"What can I say?" she said, her voice growing fainter. "This damsel loves rescuing princes in distress."

The Perilous Sea was an amazing sequel, and I'm not even surprised. To say that I loved The Burning Sky would be an understatement. Ever since I finished reading it I've been eagerly anticipating the release of the sequel, a sequel I just knew would deliver. Which, of course, it did. Oh yes, no middle book syndrome here, this is a solid sequel that is every bit as good as the first book.

The Perilous Sea alternates between Titus's and Iolanthe's POV in the present and seven weeks in the future. This created a sense of intrigue as I was constantly wondering how they got to that point in the future. Plus, it didn't take too long to get back into the story. I remember being only 20% into the book and thinking wow I'm even not that far in and already there's swoons and a shocking twist. The unpredictable twists, continued on one after another and oh my gosh I loved it. Just as I came to a conclusion about something I was proved wrong. Every chapter ended on such a note that I just had to continue on to find out what happens next. The phrase I'm sure us bookworms are accustomed to thinking "just one more chapter" definitely applies to this book. Furthermore, The Perilous Sea also provides us with answers to some burning questions. From learning the truth about Iolanthe's past to finding out more about Titus's mothers vision.

Both Titus and Iolanthe are likable characters with strengths and flaws. I loved that Titus wasn't afraid to admit when Iolanthe was better at something than he was. Further to this I liked the sense of equality between them, it wasn't just Titus saving/supporting Iolanthe, nope, she also did the saving/supporting. It just shows that they're both capable and strong characters. The romance was also wonderfully done, Thomas threw obstacles their way without bringing  in a dreaded love triangle. One of my favourite things about this romance is the banter. It makes me smile, and adore these two characters even more. If there ever were two people who could be called ship worthy it would be them. 

All the puzzle pieces start coming together, and the book ends on an exciting note. I honestly can't wait to read the final book in the trilogy! (Also: I re-read The Burning Sky before jumping into The Perilous Sea and it really helped me re-call things, so if you can I would definitely recommend re-reading it.)

Rating:

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Mini review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

GoodReads: You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out. 

- Add to GoodReads
Source: NetGalley

I admit I don't usually read YA horror, but there was something compelling about the summary of this book that made me request it.  The Girl from the Well is a book that people are either going to love or hate. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category. 

My biggest issue, I think, was the writing style. The book is told from multiple 3rd person perspectives which made it hard to connect to the story. Furthermore, it changed perspectives without warning - I would have preferred a break in the paragraph or a new chapter each time the perspective changed as this would have made it easier and less confusing to differentiate the narrators.

On a more positive note Chupeco did write some creepy (and very vivid) horror scenes which I'm sure horror fans will appreciate. To conclude I would recommend The Girl from the Well to people who enjoy horror movies and don't mind 3rd person perspectives.

Rating: 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Stacking the Shelves (#21)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga over at Tynga Reviews.

Purchased:

The Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
This book has received mixed reviews...personally, I enjoyed it. :)


Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne
I don't often read novella's, but I had to read this as it's from James' POV. James is a character I found interesting in Midnight Thief and wanted to know more about. 


For review:
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
As expected this book was amazing!


Have you read/do you plan to read any of these books? :)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

GoodReads: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.  

- Add to GoodReads
Source: Edelweiss
Expected publication date: 02/09/14

Thoughts:

The Jewel, with its intriguing premise had the potential to be amazing, but sadly it failed in execution.

My main issue with The Jewel was the romance. There was a horrible case of insta-love between Violet and Ash, the love interest. Violet is immediately attracted to him, after having one conversation (in which she discovers their mutual love for music) she comes to the conclusion that he "gets her", and not long after they are kissing and saying the L word. In the pages that follow all Violet can think about (when she should be thinking about more important thing) is Ash, she is literally consumed by the guy. There is no build up or tension, they hardly no each other yet they're confessing their loyalty and love to one another. Then there's the jealousy that overcomes her when Ash interacts or even looks at another girl, and the constant thoughts about how attractive he is and whether he is looking at her. This is what I mean when I say it was an all-consuming romance:

Ash's face appears in my mind for the hundredth time in the last few hours.

I've never thought much about kissing, but the idea of Ash's lips against mine-I giggle.

I wonder if Ash will think I look pretty.

It's only been  a couple of hours since I saw him, but he's somehow even more handsome than I remember. My whole body feels like it's blushing. 

Seriously, it goes on in this vain pages and pages after their first meeting.

Up until the point where she meets Ash, Violet herself wasn't a terrible mc, but having said that she wasn't one I particularly connected with either. She was a bit bland, much like the writing, in my opinion. There was a lot of repetition and clich├ęs.

Overall, I was rather disappointed. 

Rating:
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